A tennis player with hand claudication

Vasa. 2000 May;29(2):151-3. doi: 10.1024/0301-1526.29.2.151.


The case of a professional tennis player presenting exercise-induced hand pain with late appearance of digital blanching is reported. A bilateral hypothenar hammer syndrome and stenosis of the common palmar digital arteries close to the head of the metacarpals where the racket handle exerts its maximal force was observed with arteriography. As the patient decided to stop tennis practice, the condition improved without any medication. Six months after stopping tennis he was symptom free. Three conclusions can be drawn from this case report: 1) arteries of both hands can be injured by intense tennis practice, 2) pain in the dominant hand during tennis practice can be due to arterial insufficiency even in the absence of digital blanching which is a sign of severity, 3) hypothenar hammer syndrome is the main cause but stenosis of the common palmar digital arteries can possibly contribute to the ischemic phenomenon. Early recognition is important to avoid ineffective treatment and permanent symptoms. Therefore, we recommend an arterial examination in tennis players suffering from exercise-induced hand pain even in the absence of digital blanching which can be only a late manifestation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiography
  • Fingers / blood supply
  • Hand / blood supply*
  • Humans
  • Intermittent Claudication / diagnosis*
  • Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Tennis*